Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lovely Technology - Microbial Fuel Cells

Dr. Derel Lovely at UMass Amherst is working on something that I had no clue about; a Microbial Fuel Cell. To get an introduction of what that is you can watch this 4 min video on PBS site which is available at ( video # 4). Dr. Lovely's website is available at

I always wondered as a child (and I still do, very less often though) how the bugs glow. That has always enticed me and made me think that we should generate electricity from them. Well, that was 20 years ago, when I was ignorant of the energy problems and had no clue that it's even a possibility that some scientist will heed any attention to. But with this new development that I got to know of my thought process is again being dragged to that possibility. Why is it that the scientists are concentrating on microbes when we have bugs that are capable of generating visible light and electric shock. This brings me to my second point, are there people seriously considering it? Is it the size to energy ratio that plays a role here.

My new quest is now to find out if someone had already compiled data of organism size to electric potential difference or charge that the organism generates.